Clover Bottom Mansion
Clover Bottom Mansion
|Location||2941 Lebanon Road, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|Area||less than one acre|
|NRHP reference #||75001747|
|Added to NRHP||April 3, 1975|
The Clover Bottom Mansion is a historic mansion located in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. It is the home of the Tennessee Historical Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office. .
Clover Bottom Mansion occupies land on the Stones River first claimed in 1780 by John Donelson, who abandoned his homestead following an Indian attack. The mansion was built in 1858 and was the centerpiece of the 1,500-acre Clover Bottom Plantation incorporating portions of the house that had been built by the Hoggatts in 1853 and was destroyed by fire.
The Mansion was built near Nashville's first horseracing track for Dr James and Mary Ann Saunders Hoggatt, who owned sixty slaves. Mrs. Hoggatt was a granddaughter of Daniel Smith, and her half-brothers were Andrew Jackson Donelson and Daniel Smith Donelson, for whom Ft. Donelson was named. The mansion was constructed in the Italianate style. A strong similarity to nearby Two Rivers Mansion that was being erected around the same time suggests that the same unknown contractor and/or architect was used, although no records have been found. The interior of the home had French scenic Zuber wallpaper, and the parlor had a frescoed ceiling. Clover Bottom Plantation was the childhood home of John McCline, whose autobiography "Slavery in the Clover Bottoms" provides a rare and detailed account of the life of a Davidson County slave prior to and during the early days of the Civil War. A Tennessee Civil War Trails marker was erected on the property in 2015 detailing the story of McCline. Dr. Hoggatt died in 1863, and the home was occupied at different times during the Civil War by soldiers from both armies.
Clover Bottom Mansion was associated with two members of Congress. The first was Mrs. Hoggatt's brother-in-law, the former U.S. and Confederate Congressman Meredith P. Gentry. After his first wife (Mrs. Hoggatt's sister) died, Rep. Gentry's daughters lived with the Hoggatts while he served in politics. Ultimately Gentry was left destitute from selling his own property and enthusiastically investing all his money in the Confederacy. Gentry moved into the home and died at Clover Bottom on November 2, 1866. In 1886 Mrs. Hoggatt sold her property to Andrew Price. Mr. Price, married to Anna Gay Price, was a four term Congressman from Louisiana who had Tennessee roots. Price restored the home and added several substantial outbuildings, raising thoroughbred horses on the property.
In 1918, A.F. Stanford purchased the house. Mr. Stanford's second wife, Merle Hutcheson Stanford Davis (1907–2011) moved there in 1927 owned it until she sold it to the State of Tennessee in 1948. Mrs. Davis lived to be 104 and made her last visit to the home just a few months prior to her death in 2011. The house had a number of uses after being acquired by the State, including a brief period as a state trooper outpost. It was later converted into housing for faculty for the Tennessee School for the Blind. Around 1980 the home was left empty, beginning an unfortunate period of neglect that lasted about a decade. An effort led by Edward Nave and fellow members of the local Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities helped convince the State to restore it. It has been the home of the Tennessee Historical Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office, since October, 1994. The property contains several important historic outbuildings, including two former c. 1858 two slave cabins that are among a handful of former slave dwellings remaining in Davidson County. There is also a c. 1850s carriage house that may slightly predate the main house. The c. 1890s transverse crib thoroughbred horse barn is one of the finest 19th-century barns remaining in the area. At the initiative of the Tennessee Historical Commission, the historic outbuildings were restored by the State in 2015–16 and interpretive signs were added. Over 150 trees of native species were planted, and a walking trail was added. The grounds are open to the public during daylight hours. Tours of the office (which has no period furnishings or exhibits) are by appointment only.
It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 3, 1975.
- National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- James A. Hoobler, A Guide to Historic Nashville, Tennessee, The History Press, 2008, pp. 10-11 
- Perky Beisel, Rob DeHart, Middle Tennessee Horse Breeding, Arcadia Publishing, 2007, p. 12 
- Michael Andrew Grissom, Southern by the Grace of God, Pelican Publishing, 1989, p. 265 
- Whitsitt Edwards, Amelia (Oct 1, 1999). Nashville Interiors: 1866 To 1922. Arcadia Publishing. p. 23. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
- Leonard E. Marsh (February 21, 1975). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory – Nomination Form: Clover Bottom Mansion" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved November 9, 2015. Photos
- "Clover Bottom: grounds and mansion". , Center for Historic Preservation, Middle Tennessee State University,. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
- Eleanor Graham, Nashville: a short history and selected buildings, Historical Commission of Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County, 1974, p. 225